– I recently caught up with Prof. Mark Whiteley . Founder-The Whiteley Clinic. He also specialises in the innovative walk-in,walk-out surgery for varicose vein.Here is Part 2 of our amazing discussions.
*I was so excited when I read about the Laser treatment
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy was one of my favourite procedures in those days ( done by general surgeons)how have the laser treatments been embraced by patients?
Interestingly we have recently stopped performing endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy and also the laser sweat ablation procedure that I introduced to the UK in 2009, as there is a new non-invasive technique called MiraDry. This is a perfect example of how an invasive procedure has changed due to advances in technology into a non-invasive approach. We now offer MiraDry to all patients with underarm sweating through our aesthetics brand, Absolute Aesthetics.
It took me three years to be convinced that this was the right way forward. However, the histological and clinical results of MiraDry are so impressive that we now do not offer open surgery for hyperhidrosis.
*What advice do you have for up and coming healthcare professionals who have keen interest and passion for innovation and research?
The most important thing for innovation and research, as well as business, is the one thing you never get taught very well as a doctor. That is to network and to ask for advice. There are lots of people out there who have had the same problems as you have before and have found out how to get around them. There are also people out there who have had disasters and who are happy to help you avoid them. Many people are much more generous than you would ever believe and will help you if they know you exist. If however you do not get out there and tell them about yourself, they cannot help you. Therefore find people who have done things similar to what you aim to do and go and meet them. Although some might not be helpful, you will be surprised at how many people are willing to help you if you are passionate about your subject.
*We cannot finish without talking about the College of Phlebology. What is the aim and drive behind that?
It has always upset me that so many patients except bad results and, because of that, so many doctors “do” varicose veins without being current. There is still this misguided perception that “varicose veins are only cosmetic”. If you are a patient and you knew that your doctor was not interested in getting the very best results, you would not ever allow them to treat you. In addition, although there are a couple of vein conferences in the UK each year, I found them to be quite staid and formulaic with very little excitement in the new techniques that are being developed.
As such, I set up the College of Phlebology to be a beacon for doctors and nurses from the UK and around the world to be able to discuss veins and venous problems both on the Internet and face-to-face. Initially, this was by a LinkedIn group and there was one book. However we are holding our first International conference in London on 15th-17th March 2017 which will not only concentrate on all the latest ways of treating leg veins and pelvic veins, but there will also be a complete 3-day stream on leg ulcer assessments and treatments which are run by our charity, the Leg Ulcer Charity.
The College of Phlebology is also about to launch an international registry which will be free to doctors to use. This will allow doctors to know they are getting results that are comparable to other doctors and units, as well as allowing patients to know which doctors are submitting their results for third-party analysis. This will allow insurance companies, funders of treatments as well as patients to ensure that doctors who say that they “do” varicose veins actually do a proper job and get acceptable results.
Thank you once again and Congratulations on your recent Zenith Global Health Recognition Award.
Thank you so much for the award which means a huge amount to me. I think that these awards are an excellent idea to focus healthcare professionals and patients on those doctors and nurses who wish to push the boundaries and not just to “do the job”. I wish you every success in the future and thank you once again for my recognition award which I treasure.